Bible studies for writers

Bible studies for writers | Exodus 31

I had kinda forgotten that Moses and God were still on top of that mountain. Snort. The last paragraph reminds us, though, that Moses’ and God’s time on Mt. Sinai is drawing to a close. Are you excited? That means the instructional chapters also are coming to a close! Psych! 😉 Moses kind of wraps everything up here, though, by summarizing all the instructions the Israelites are to carry out with one final checklist and a call to those who are to carry it out. It’s not just Moses who is responsible for building a “home for God.” He is just the supervisor. He needs a whole team to accomplish this mega task, so God puts one together for him. He chooses Moses’ great-great-nephew (possibly – if Hur is Moses’ nephew by Aaron, then Bezalel would be Moses’ great-great-nephew, right? Anyway, he’s part of the immediate fam.) to oversee the grand project. Let’s call him the general manager. His assistant is Oholiab (one of my favorite names in the Bible), who we really don’t know right now, but I know his name is mentioned later on. So, Oholiab is assistant manager. Now, these guys are blessed with amazing skills, yes, but they haven’t been blessed with superhuman powers. There is no way they could build all these things, plus make silverware and lamp stands – and then weave and sew and create little crocheted pomegranates and bells for the priests’ robes – all by themselves, at least not in a timely manner. And it sounds like God kind of wants His tabernacle built ASAP. He’d like to get this show on the road! So while the “team members” are not named, we definitely know that Bezalel and Oholiab had lots and lots of help. My kids were talking about socialism the other day at the dinner table. (They are all sprouting in their teenage sociology studies.) The youngest one’s argument, and rightly so, was that socialism never works because a natural hierarchy always occurs. Sorry that sounds so nerdy, but I just saw that this chapter is a perfect example of what she meant: it takes a whole dairy farm to make the world churn, and it’s as vital to have Farmer Joe as it is to have a pen full of Jerseys. Paul also likens the concept to our own body parts in the New Testament. And we can easily see it in our environment and communities. Since working from home these past few weeks, I have GRAVELY missed the ladies at work who come around to our desks to gather our dirty dishes. They’re always so polite, and sometimes they THANK ME for putting it out to the edge of my desk so they can reach it better. They not only gather our dishes, but they wash them. They wipe up our messes in the kitchen. They keep our tables clean and our floors spotless. And I can’t even sing praises loud enough for our bathroom ladies. Aside from fancy restrooms in Las Vegas, the US doesn’t have bathroom ladies. Let me tell you, folks, bathroom ladies are No. 1 on my list of No. 1s. They keep our bathrooms so clean you could eat off the toilet seats, and rarely will you find any dirty tissue (we don’t flush toilet paper in Thailand. That’s a no-no) in the trash cans. It’s dreamy. At home, though, I don’t have any ladies. I have one lady, and that lady is me. Ok, the kids help sometimes, but when they don’t, it’s not so fun living in a blissfully clean house when I have to keep it blissfully clean all by myself. Anyway, I hope the Israelites viewed their newly formed team in this way, knowing that everyone has a part and everyone’s part matters.

Moses ends this chapter with a vital instruction: do not, under any circumstance, disregard the Sabbath. Rest! Why is this so important? We’ve talked before about how when everything slows down, the earth and everyone in it gets replenished and refreshed. Everything just lasts longer this way, including us! The way it is commanded makes it look somewhat like a punishment, at least that’s how I used to view it. But it’s not a punishment at all. It is a blessing that God commands us to take advantage of for our own good and the good of the earth that He created for us. Even though commands can sound scary, God’s commands always are given with love for us at the core.

Writing prompt: teams

Sometimes at work we get to visualize what it would look like to expand our team. We have to think through what positions we would need, what skills those people would need, and so on. It’s fun to create virtual teams. It’s even more fun when those teams start coming into fruition! I’ve served on many teams, and I’m sure you have too. Sometimes I was a team member with a small task. Sometimes I got to call the shots on certain tasks, but no matter how I served on that team, it was always a great feeling when the project was completed successfully and everyone got to celebrate together. It’s fun getting recognized for solo projects and skills, yes, but there is just something about being involved in a big group project. We all serve on some sort of team or another – even if it is Team Mom: Head of Household. Write about your teammates and the vital roles they play, or write about someone – or several someones, like the bathroom ladies – who makes your life a whole lot nicer.

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